After months of searching, Nikki Finke has found the fellow to helm the east coast expansion of her industry blog. Finke announced last night that Variety veteran Mike Fleming is leaving the trade publication after 20 years to edit the new Deadline New York. Finke also announced the hiring of UK entertainment business journalist Tim Adler as the editor of the upcoming Deadline London, and last week hired entertainment journalist Diane Haithman, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, as an interviewer of TV show runners. But it’s her poaching of Fleming that has really got tongues wagging:
The Hot Blog speculates the loss of Fleming signals that “Variety is all but done now. Another one of their stars out the door.”
Sharan Waxman thinks Variety brought this on themselves. She notes the trade “has watched the wholesale departure of talent – mainly by shoving them out the door. Now the voluntary departure of a talented, news-breaking reporter like Fleming is a very bad sign indeed, just as the trade has made two high-level hires – of Daily Variety, and Variety.com – of journalists who have no knowledge of the entertainment industry.”
And the Jewish Journal laments “that we may never discover what went on when Variety found out their arch rival would steal their “crown jewel” because the person who would report that news is undoubtedly Nikki Finke”.